Rated 4.0

A funny, relatively sick in the head sci-fi adventure based on Joss Whedon’s failed television series, Firefly. A band of rebels rescue a young woman named River (Summer Glau) with psychic powers, spiriting her across the galaxy while trying to evade dark forces. Sound familiar? While the movie does touch upon Star Wars territory, it still manages to be quite unique, with a strange Western flavor, offbeat sense of humor and a surprising amount of violence. When River kicks martial-arts ass, it is a marvel to behold. Whedon, making his feature film directing debut, doesn’t use fancy-pants editing tricks to get those punches and kicks across. His action scenes are very easy to follow and quite rousing. Nathan Fillion (who reminds a bit of Bill Pullman in Spaceballs) makes for a decent hero figure, and Adam Baldwin (the My Bodyguard guy) makes for a great comedic presence. I hope this one does well because I want more, and with Star Wars wrapped and Star Trek on hiatus, this would make for a great franchise.